Ellie Blair on Cortijo Romero Nigel Shamash’s Spring Into Life Course.
I had the priviledge of participating in the Spring Into Life Course run by the original founder of Cortijo Romero Nigel Shamash in early March. Prolific in many ways and more so as it is 30 years this coming June since the centre opened as a place of sanctuary, growth, education, well-being and holistic therapies.
He is an inspirational teacher with over 35 years of dedication to all aspects of the Spiritual Path. He lives and walks his daily life in joy and it is impossible to be around him and not feel your own sense of passion for life and happiness. With Nigel’s great warmth, positive energy, and an infectious sense of humour, the week of Singing (mostly informal), Yoga, Dance, Laughter Therapy, Chanting, Relaxation, and time to walk and explore some of the beautiful local areas around the centre began.
The group of 17 participants some of whom are regular returnees to the centre gelled pretty quickly. Anyone travelling alone would soon have easily felt a part of what was happening through thoughtful and meaningful conversation and a sense of like mindedness. I found a tremendous sense of community upon my arrival, partly due to the warm welcome and supportive caring approach of the wonderful staff, and the shared energy of the group keen to embark on the weeks activities. Courses are facilitated by some of the most talented group leaders from around the world-such is the reputation of Cortijo Romero.
The centre is situated in the spectacular region of La Alpujarra in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Granada Province. Sitting at 1300 feet in a fertile valley within an 800 year old olive grove surrounded by magnificent mountain views, Cortijo Romero offers a place of harmony, peace, ambience, and beauty.The original farm house is built around an enclosed courtyard, with the main group room opening off it. It has a large flat roof, used for yoga, tai chi, socialising and star-gazing.
There are several splendid garden areas, with abundant sub-tropical flowers, fruit and trees. Weather permitting ( with 325 days of sunshine each year, low humidity, and little rain-it is known to be the mildest climate in Europe) they are often used for course sessions, as well as for sunbathing, reading, meditation and games.
There is also a beautiful meditation room for quieter reflective times. Bedrooms are simply furnished in local Spanish style and very comfortable, all with shower or bath and central heating in Winter. Most are singles and twin with a few doubles to offer also. Stories were shared over plentiful and imaginitive meals prepared by dedicated staff. All the food is vegetarian including eggs and dairy produce, using as much local and organic produce as possible. It’s a diet suited to the environment-vegan, wheat and dairy free options are available.
There is free 24 hour access to the full and varied fruit bowl including delicious local oranges in the dining room as well as a great range of teas, coffee, filtered water, and biscuits. Optional extras include fabulous Therapies-Thai Yoga, Reiki, Aromatherapy, Shiatsu, “Insights” structured counselling and life coaching, all provided by the team of professional practitioners with many years of experience in their range of skills. A guest laundry is available and I was personally very happy to see, no television, radio, internet, or office access. There is an internet cafe a 15 minute walk away in the lovely little town of Orgiva. There is a typical weekly market there where you will find authentic Spanish produce being offered, there are banking facilities, and other basic shopping resources.
You may also come across many free spirited hippes in the mix which actually felt just right somehow. I am told the area is a magnet for people wishing to have a simpler freer way of life. I have come away from my week refreshed, rejuvinated, optimistic about life, and with new friends I came to know during this very special time.
The National Geographic Magazine refers to the area around Cortijo Romero as ‘One of the most uplifting in the world’. I can lay claim to that statement and would encourage you to go and have a look at the possibility of having a life enhancing experience-Cortijo Romero awaits you with open arms and a big heart.
More information: the contact in English office is 01494 765775, email address [email protected] They will be more than happy to send brochures and answer questions. Nigel Shamash moved to La Roane close to Toulouse 18 years ago and runs his centre there for Yoga and Activity Holidays. Set in a magnificent 20 acre estate, he offers a wide range of courses, well worth taking a look at. Excellent vegetarian cuisine, comfortable accomodation, a haven of fun and laughter in a loving supportive community. . email [email protected]
Buena Suerte y Feliz Viaje-Good Luck and Happy Travels.
Ellie Blair has been walking the path of spirituality for over 25 years both in her personal and working life. She is a Reiki Healer and Writer. She studied Social Psychology in the late 1980s-opening the doors to what she regards as the beginning of ‘Her life’s journey’. Travel around the world has played a major part in her growth as well as the inspiration of numerous Teachers who she has learned so much from. She states her life continues to be her education, she feels her life is a story and has been very blessed by her experiences.